Many countries in the last months have been dealing with the rocky ride of transitioning out of hard lockdown into something a bit more normal. In Austria, the official date was May 19th. And yes, I took the afternoon off work to go to the pool… and yes, it was freezing but I went anyway.
With the opening of the restaurants and so on, they introduced the 3G rule. That is… Getestet, Geimpft oder Gesund. Basically if you want to eat at a restaurant, have a haircut, visit a pool or lake etc. you have to be able prove that you have either a valid negative Covid test, have been vaccinated (3+ weeks) or have recovered from Covid (in the last 6 months).
And hey! It seems to be working. It’s probably also to do with the warmer weather, but our numbers are currently under 100 for new cases for day. Which hasn’t been seen since summer last year!
In fact things are so good here that this week, on July 1st, Covid regulations were again reduced… and when I say reduced… I basically mean abolished. Distance regulations, mask regulations, numbers of guests… everything… drastically reduced to the point where compared to what it has been, it can barely be considered a restriction.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still measures in place. But if I want to go night clubbing, as long as I can prove I’m 3G compliant, I can dance the night away in a sweaty throng of people without even thinking about a mask!
Considering past lessons on Covid, such a sudden backflip in measures seems reckless… but when you look at the numbers… having any restrictions in place at all seems ridiculous. So it’s pretty hard to draw a line. Our vaccine program has gotten to the point where there is more vaccine than those currently registered, which means that at least those who want to be protected are.
After the initial opening in May, we personally waited a few weeks before we ventured out for real. Our usual Friday night take-away date night dinner restaurant was happy to oblige us a while longer, and given the terrible weather, the idea of eating inside with other people seemed foreign and hasty. The thing is, we’ve done the hard slog. We stuck to our hard core lockdown for this long, and kept ourselves safe – how embarrassing would it be to get the Covid now? So even though it’s perhaps not necessary, we’ve stuck to it. Because what’s a few more weeks? And now that the weather has warmed up we’ve enjoyed several Friday night dinners seated outside.
Last week I got my second shot. So, even though this Delta variant is looming, I feel positive. This time next week I’ll be as protected as I can be, and then the possibilities are endless. Sure, it might still be some time before the dream of Australia can be realised, but that’s for another time. I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to enjoy summer. And freedom. And friends.